Sunday, 14 August 2016

Let's Talk | My Fitness Journey

The last thing I ever imagined that would get my juices going and inspired to write my first blog post in a while, is fitness. If you know me well enough, you’ll know exercise and I are not (or should I say were not) friends. I was always the girl sloping to the PE changing rooms, hoping for rain so heavy it would surely be cancelled, but today I seem to have found a new lease of life. I blame my best friend, well blame's a little harsh - my best friend has been on an incredible journey over the past 18 months, from weight loss to fitness, to discovering a new passion for competing and even a new career, and I guess watching her soar to such great heights, rubbed off on me, woke up a competitive side I never knew I had and inspired me to take up my own challenge. 

I'd always liked the idea of running, it's a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, it's free and accessible to do and it doesn't take that much out of your day to complete. Earlier this year I had been training for a 14-mile sponsored walk in aid of The Royal Marsden and it got me thinking how much quicker it would be if I could run - ok maybe not 14 miles, but any sort of distance, say a 5K. But how was I going to do this? I'd never run before, unless you count those 'attempts' during athletics week at school, and after trying on the treadmill one evening and struggling after a minute it baffled me as to how I would ever get up to 30 minutes of straight running. I needed something to motivate me and keep me focussed and so I took the plunge and booked myself a 5K race, giving me 3 months to train and get there. My goal was simple; I wanted to run it without stopping, no matter how long that took. 

I'd heard of the 'Couch to 5K' app through the grapevine, but it wasn't available on the app store when I went to download, instead I went for '5K Runner', which is an app that has a programme of 8 weeks, building up distance and time over three runs per week. It began fairly light, with a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by 6x 1 minute runs with 1.5 minute walk intervals in between. I began my training in the gym on the treadmill, but by week 5 when I was getting into 8-10 minute runs, I was getting bored and felt like time was dragging as I was constantly clock watching. I took my running outside and it completely changed everything, I felt more engaged and inspired with what I was doing and it made going for a run that little bit easier. 

I finally hit 5k without stopping around a week before my race and I felt great - don't get me wrong, the mental struggle was real. I can't tell you the battles I had with myself inside my head, and still do. I found rewarding myself with something a good way to get through - at the moment i'm addicted to Gilmore Girls so it would be "just 10 more minutes and you can binge watch on Netflix". Unfortunately my race never happened, I had booked it on the Ride London day, without realising at the time and the trains were all messed up, so even though I was up at 6am and ready to go, it didn't happen. I was extremely disappointed, even devastated and that's when I realised I actually quite like running. Shocker, I know. I still went out that Sunday and ran 5.5k in just over 31 minutes - a new PB. It felt great and I felt proud - it was a challenge I set out and I achieved it. Me being me and with a new found competitiveness, I have been keeping up running, trying to get out 2-3 times a week and I push myself every time. I have a new race booked on 3rd September, because that medal is still calling and I'm hoping to do it in 28 minutes - my last run was 28.56, so I hope I can achieve this!

It's funny what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Wishlist | The Birthday Edition

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

It's officially my birthday month and seeing as I will be turning 23 on the 25th February, I thought I would put together a wishlist of items I would love to unwrap this year. 

1. Michael Kors Watch - This was love at first sight.  I've been looking for a simple yet chic boyfriend style watch, which is easier said than done when you prefer silver jewellery and this ticks all the boxes. I found this beauty just before Christmas and I've coveted ever since. 

2. Whistles Excusez-Moi Tee - I'm off to Paris at the end of March and anything Paris themed I seem to make a beeline for lately. This tee would be perfect to pair with jeans and loafers during the day or tucked into a midi skirt with heels for the evening. 

3. Lancome Limited Edition My French Palette - Do I really need another neutral palette? No. But do I need one with an Eiffel Tower illustration on the packaging? YES. This palette might look like your average everyday number, has three hidden shades of varying teal and grey and I'd love to play around more with colour as we move into spring/summer. 

4. By Terry Ombre Black Star in Bronze Moon - I have been eyeing up this eyeshadow stick for a while, everytime I walk into Space NK I swatch and swoon but never purchase. Bronze shades really bring out the blue in my eyes but I've yet to find my perfect formula or shade. 

5. Whistles Tres Bien Merci Jumper - Are you starting to detect a theme? I told you, I'm slightly obsessed with anything Paris or French themed... I've watched a Whistles slogan jumper for a while and after trying this on, I can confirm it is extremely comfortable and cosy. 

6. The Fault in our Stars DVD - Arguably depressing as a birthday gift but I love the book and film and would love to add this to my DVD collection. Plus, Shailene Woodley is an absolute babe.

7. Whistles Rivington Chain Clutch - Another sorely lusted after item for my wardrobe is the Rivington Clutch - its simple and will go with everything I pair it with. It also happens to be big enough to fit all the essentials in, but small enough that I don't venture out with the kitchen sink in tow. 

So in summary, this year you can't really go wrong if it's from Whistles or has an Eiffel Tower on it... Happy birthday to all my fellow Pisces!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Review | Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24-Hour Eyeshadow in Pink Gold

If I'm honest, I never thought much of the Colour Tattoo's when they first launched. I picked up On and On Bronze when they first launched, which is a beautiful bronze shade that looks gorgeous on the lid but I found no matter how I primed and prepped my eyes, it creased like a bitch within a hour or so. I'm happy to report that I'm now eating my words as I am aboslutely obsessed with one of the newer shades 'Pink Gold' - so much so, I'm wondering if I got a dodgy batch with On and On Bronze and am reconsidering a repurchase.

As the name would suggest, it's a champagne pink colour. The cream formula helps colour to swipe on with ease - I use my ring finger on initial application before going back in with a Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush to buff out. On it's own it looks pretty and with a slick of mascara you had a ready-to-go, low maintenance everyday look. If I want to amp it up a touch, I use a purpley-taupe colour in the crease to smoke it out with ease. 

The formula is a good consistency, it's creamy enough to blend easily, but it also has enough stick that when it sets in place it's not budging for a long time. It claims to last 24 hours, but who really wears their makeup for that long? I always prime with my trusty NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and I can usually get a good five or so hours before I might need to go back in with a brush and buff out any creasing. 

Overall I'm pretty happy with the product - it still creases on me but for some reason this shade less so. At £4.99 it's a great price point if your just starting with cream products and the shade range is fantastic too. Have you tried the Colour Tattoos?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Wishlist | Products I'm Coveting

1. Hourglass Modernist Palette in Monochrome (Available in Space NK from 1st February); £56 - When Wayne Goss unveiled the newest product launch from Hourglass on his channel last week, there was a lot of heart eyed emoji going on. Hourglass will be launching six different palettes in the Modernist collection but Ive got my eye on Monochrome. Although the name would insinuate a black and white affair, it's actually quite the opposite - five beautiful warm shades with a pinky hue to them. Love. 

2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla; £22 - I have been coveting this concealer ever since it was launched, but many factors have led it to still being on my wishlist. The first was when it was first released, Vanilla was sold out everywhere, and secondly the price - I'm quite happy with my Collection Lasting Perfection at just under a quarter of the price. Nevertheless, I still need want this. 

3. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glastonberry; £23 - I love a bold lip, they can completely transform your look with just one swipe and matte formulas are so much easier to wear as they are usually fairly long lasting. Glastonberry offers the best of both world, a matte formula and an incredible 'masala' colour.

4. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer; £16 - 2015 is the year I'm going to master highlighter. No more walking out the door, cheekbones resembling disco balls. theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer is highly talked about in the blogging community and it certainly looks gorgeous in the pan. Make me glow already. 

5. Oribe Dry Texturising Spray; £38 - I've gone to purchase this a handful of times, only to flinch at the eyewatering price tag... Nevertheless, after having the purse size version before, I know how incredible this product is and I can't help but think what it would do with the waves I create with my ghdCurve Classic Waving Wand. That, and it smells incredible

6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder; £38 - I've mentioned these powders on the blog more than once and I still haven't picked one up. I'm never sure of the shade I should go for out of the six available so I might have to have a chat with my local Space NK lady. 

7. Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection; from £12 - Nic and Sam can do no wrong where Real Techniques brushes are concerned. There's not a single brush I own by them (and I own a lot) that I haven't found a use for at one time or another. The Bold Metals collection again has me a little heart eyed emoji. I'm particularly lusting after #200 Oval Shadow and #201 Pointed Crease for expert (kind of) eyeshadow application. 

What's on your wishlist?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Review | Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette in Neutral Territory 2

I'm a bit of an eyeshadow floozie. I can take or leave them, often going through phases with various palettes or singular shades, but 2014 was the year I upped my eyeshadow game. When Clinique launched their Neutral Territory 2 Palette last January, I was all over it. The eight pan beauty had a mixture of matte, satin and glittery numbers, sure to see you easily from day to night, but most importantly it had the shade Black Honey, a colour I'd been coveting for months but never got around to buying.

Since purchasing, this has been undoubtedly my go-to palette (the original Naked Palette following at a close second). It's extremely versatile - if I just want to perk up my everyday look, I swipe the fifth shade across my lid and add mascara before I'm ready to go. If I'm looking for something smokier, I use the three last shades, including Black Honey, which is a red toned bronze shade that really makes the blue in my eyes pop. The shadows themselves are highly pigmented and buttery soft in texture, blending easily and seamlessly onto the lid and into one another - not one is chalky or patchy once applied. When used in conjunction with my favourite NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, nothing budges for a good eight-ten hours. The packaging is also great, it's slim and compact making it perfect for travel as it really takes up no space at all in a make up bag.

At £32, this isn't the most expensive palette when you consider the quality and has been a worthwhile investment given how much I have used it in the past year. Do you have a favourite eyeshadow palette? 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Review | Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot

Setting liquid foundation will help to lock product into place and if you find the right powder, it can also keep oily skin at bay for a lot longer than without. I recently picked up Soap & Glory's 'One Heck of a Blot' after seeing it in my local Boots. I have never really explored the S&G makeup range but have heard only good things. My usual powder preference is MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, which serves its purpose just fine, but with an affinity for beauty products, I'm always looking for the game changer. 

One Heck of a Blot is a blotting powder by nature - it's main purpose is to absorb excess oil, control shine and mattify skin. The powder comes in a handy compact with mirror and a puff for on the go touch ups and is translucent making it suitable for all skin tones. I like a natural luminosity to my base, so I usually sweep this powder on with my Real Techniques Duo-Fibre Face Brush (available in the Nic's Picks brush set), which picks up just enough product to hold everything into place, without things getting too cakey. The wear time of my makeup is definitely increased when I use this product, only needing to touch up once during the day, usually just in my t-zone. 

Overall it's a nice powder that gets the job done in all the right places. Game changing? No, but it will definitely be in rotation with my MAC powder. 

Have you tried any of the Soap & Glory makeup range?

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Combination | Dynamic Duo

There's something harmonious about a blush and lip combo that just works. This week I discovered the perfect everyday combo - Bobbi Brown Blush in Desert Rose and MAC Satin Lipstick in Brave. Together they compliment one another without making you look overly 'done'. 

Bobbi Brown's Blush in Desert Pink is a soft pink with a slight brown undertone, giving it a really natural tone that looks great on paler skin. It's a blush that I've had for a few years now and find myself leaning towards during the autumn and winter months, favouring the matte finish over my dewy creams in the warmer season. The powder blush is described as having a silky formula that glides onto skin easily, offering a long-lasting matte finish. The product is highly pigmented, needing only a slight tap of a blusher brush to pick up just enough product to sweep across cheek bones for a natural complexion boost. 

Hauled in my previous post is MAC's Satin Lipstick in Brave. It was love at first swipe with this pinky-mauve lipstick and since purchasing it's been the only product to grace my lips. The pigmented satin finish compliments the matte counterpart of the Bobbi Brown blusher - the formula leans more on the long-lasting matte side, with an added somethin' somethin' that stops lips from looking flat. 

I usually pair these two with a simple base, brows and mascara for a put together, office appropriate look, but it could also enhance a smokier eye look without looking too over the top. 

What's your favourite blush and lip combo?

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